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Military Spouses Residency Relief Act and State Taxes


On November 11, 2009, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act was signed into law to lessen the state income tax filing burden on military families.

Today, military service members can keep their home state of record/state of legal residency for taxes, voting, car registration and other purposes regardless of where they are stationed. For decades, though, non-military spouses who accompany service members on assignments have been required to file their state taxes in the state where they live with the service member. That meant that most non-military spouses were forced to file tax returns in a different state than their military spouse.

The new law states that the non-military spouse can retain the same home state of record/state of residency as the military spouse as long as the sole reason for leaving that state was due to a permanent change of station (PCS) by the military.

If non-military spouses make this change, the states where they currently reside cannot tax their earned income. This is an easy way to keep from paying taxes in two states. If the military member works a second job on weekends, though, the state in which he is working will require him to file a nonresident return and pay tax.

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